Ermon Lane vs. Malachi Dupre: Which 5-Star WR Is Better?
Ermon Lane is a 5-star receiver who is regarded as one of the best recruits in the country. He is committed to Florida and is a high school version of Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, because he has a great skill set.
Although he has limited production, Malachi Dupre is a 5-star wide-out in his own right. The Louisiana prospect has a surprisingly polished game and No. 1 receiver potential.
Both receivers have great talent, but it is time to decide which is the better prospect.
Lane has great size, as the future Gator is 6'3" and 193 pounds. He has done a great job of adding bulk to his frame since his sophomore season to help him versus physical cornerbacks. Lane has solid length in his arms, and he has the potential to weigh 215 pounds before he leaves Gainesville.
Dupre has a slight high-cut frame at nearly 6'3" and 190 pounds. His length is immediately noticed when looking at him. He also has wide shoulders, which is why he could add a significant amount of bulk in college. Do not be surprised if Dupre weighs 220 pounds in a few years.
Release Quickness and Speed
A quicker-than-fast athlete, Lane has a good burst off the line. He shows good elusiveness to wiggle around press-man coverage, can shoot upfield and eludes underneath traffic when going across the middle. However, Lane lacks elite top-speed. He is not a slow player, but he does not have the juice to be a serious deep threat in college.
Dupre is almost an exact opposite type of athlete from Lane. He doesn't show elite release quickness off the line, but has great build-up speed. He is at his best towards the middle and top of his routes, rather than being intially explosive. But Dupre shows the ability to get behind safeties.
Advantage: Lane is quicker, Dupre is faster
Route Running and Separation Quicknesse
Lane has to improve in his ability to run more precise routes. He flashes the ability to explode out of his breaks to separate from defenders, but he gets lazy in the department. That is why his routes are rounded, and his pad-level being too high hinders his sharpness. Lane has the ability to dart away from coverage in transition, but he needs more coaching in this area.
The Louisiana receiver has more polish to his skills than his numbers would indicate (only 39 receptions in two seasons). However, he must get better at consistently lowering his pad-level when coming out of his breaks. Dupre also has to get more experienced running various routes, as his high school offense is a run-dominant attack.
Advantage: Lane, because he has more experience and reps at running routes
Attacking the football with his hands is not an issue for Lane. He can catch in crowds, leap up to high-point throws and has the athleticism to adjust for poorly thrown balls. He has large strike zone and good ball skills.
This is a player who seems to increase his focus when he has to catch in a crowd. Dupre gets more competitive under pressure, which helps him make impressive catches. He will attack the ball with his hands in space.
Run After Catch Skills
This is another area where Lane showcases his smooth movement skills. He can haul in a pass, quickly get north upfield—thanks to his explosive athleticism—and elude defenders with the ball. He's a threat after the catch.
Although he can run with good elusiveness in the post-catch phase of a play, what's impressive about Dupre in this category is his deceptive strength. He flashes toughness and power as a runner. He can break a tackle or two and is tough for defenders to bring down.
Lane is the superior receiver right now, as he has more production and more reps in game situations. He has great size, is sudden in his release and shows good ball skills.
However, Dupre has more potential and is the better prospect. He is similar in size to Lane, has superior speed and his hands and run-after-catch skills are even, if not better than the Florida's commit's.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
Both stud receivers are in 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map! Check out this impressive source to see where all the elite talent is located throughout the country.